The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and Aviva Canada announced awards for private fleet safety during the PMTC’s annual conference on September 9th of 2020.
The competition is open to all Canadian private carriers, and membership in the PMTC is not a requirement. Judging is conducted by an independent panel and follows established criteria with a focus on the company’s overall safety regime and it’s over the road record.
The 2020 award winners were:
Mid-Sized Fleet, under 75 Power Units: Wallenstein Feed & Supply
Large Fleet, 75 and over Power Units: Praxair Canada Inc.
“The members of the PMTC appreciate the support of Aviva for these private fleet safety awards. The awards are a tangible sign of the commitment of Aviva and the PMTC to truck safety, a commitment that has been part of the PMTC’s mandate since our inception in 1977.
“The process of applying for one of these awards provides a checklist for fleet managers to see what the best in class fleets are doing to maintain their safety programs. Even if you do not believe you will win an award, there is an immense benefit to going through the process of entering”, said PMTC President Mike Millian.
“Along with Aviva, we at the PMTC congratulate the management and drivers of these fleets,” Millian went on to say. “The efforts of everyone involved with these fleets, and many others in the PMTC membership, points to their desire to keep road safety foremost in their operations. All of the 2020 award winners deserve our congratulations.”
Millian also expressed the PMTC’s appreciation to Aviva for making these awards possible, saying that “Aviva is an example of a company that promotes and supports the safe operation of truck fleets – we, along with the trucking community, appreciate their involvement and support.”
Wallenstein Feed & Supply has operated its Private Fleet in Canada for 62 years. The Fleet consists of 25 tractors, 26 straight trucks, 31 trailers and 2 light commercial vehicles, which ran 5,448,212km’s in 2019. Wallenstein has been manufacturing and delivering quality feed for the livestock industry for over 60 years, and consists of 105 fleet related employees, including 94 drivers.
Wallenstein has a written safety policy, that is reviewed and updated annually. The Fleet has a referral program, if current employees refer a driver who is hired, the staff member who referred the driver gets paid $300 once the new hire has completed their 3 month probation, and they receive another $700.00 referral fee if they stay beyond a year. On initial application potential hires are interviewed in person by 2 supervisors and must supply a driver and CVOR abstract. If they get past this stage, they then must pass a road test and written test. Once hired they have a 10-day orientation program that includes HR, Health & safety as well as HACCP Training. From there they spend 8 days training with an experienced operator. Once this portion is completed the new hire is put through a test to gauge their comprehension, as well as a ride along by another supervisor to ensure company satisfaction is met.
Ongoing training at the fleet consists of a yearly ride along with each driver, two formal all drivers’ meetings, small driver group meetings of 4 to 8 drivers multiple times through the year to discuss various topics and do a safety quiz. Two drivers also sit on the health and safety committee, these minutes are distributed to all drivers and two topics are highlighted each month in the Transport newsletter. The company also provides all new employees with Mental Health and Wellness training in their first year of employment and provides 6 free counselling sessions per year to all employees.
Drivers also receive a safety bonus of $0.25 per hour for all hours worked during the year, and a $250 bonus for a clean abstract.
Despite best efforts, if something does go wrong, all accidents, incidents and near misses are reported to the health and safety manager and then submitted to the supervisor. An incident review committee of 6 drivers and 3 managers review the accident in detail and vote on at fault or not at fault. If a driver is found to be at fault, they lose their yearly safety bonus. Recommendations for improvements are also made and chronic issues addressed.
All of this clearly pays off, as Wallenstein’s excellent CVOR rating of 8.82% proves.
Praxair Canada Inc. has operated its private fleet in Canada for 24 years. Praxair consists of 503 fleet related employees, including 403 professional drivers. The fleet consists of 156 tractors, 402 trailers, and 232 straight trucks, and in the current year they operated 28,979,080 million kilometers.
Praxair is Canada’s largest industrial gases company, with 2270 employees, 54 production facilities and over 100 retail stores, supplying over 16,000 customers per year. Praxair has three core businesses, Merchant and onsite gas, Packaged Goods and Medical Gases.
Potential new drivers for Praxair must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience driving similar equipment and must have an abstract that has been clean for at least 24 months.
All new drivers go through an intensive 80 hour in class program, called the Professional Product Driver Program. The program covers such key topics as product handling, defensive driving, and sleep management.
Ongoing training consists of weekly safety messages to drivers, monthly safety meetings, and the 80-hour Professional Driver Program being retaken every three years. Praxair Canada also has on board computers, Eld’s and telematics devices installed in its trucks that provide live data so supervisors can quickly provide coaching to reinforce safe driving habits. Praxair also has a fit for duty assessment integrated into their On-Board Computer, which require the driver to do a self-assessment before they begin their day. If they fail the assessment, they cannot log into the system and will not be able to start their workday. Praxair also provides sleep management training to all of its drivers and have recently upgraded their trip inspection training.
All employees are trained on accident reporting protocols. All accidents are classified by severity, and are all investigated for root cause, with appropriate actions documented and executed to prevent similar incidents.
All drivers are also paid a safety allowance that is paid per shift based on performing pre and post trip inspections, no accidents and customer satisfaction. They also have a million-mile driver awards program based on years of service. If a driver goes accident free during that time, they receive a ring, and in subsequent periods they receive diamonds for the ring as they achieve different milestones.
Praxair currently has a CVOR violation rate of 15.27%, and a miniscule accident to incident ratio of .83 per million km’s.